Arctic sea ice melting one warm river at a time A new NASA study finds that warmer than normal waters from rivers draining into the Arctic Ocean each summer are eating away at the sea ice in the Arctic Ocean. Led by Son Nghiem of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., the research team used satellite data to measure the surface temperature of the waters discharging from Canada's McKenzie River into the Beaufort Sea during the summer of 2012 and noticed surface waters being warmed suddenly due to the sudden influx of warm river water This warmed the surface layers of the ocean, which in turn increased the melting of sea ice.
DOE Sets New Commercial Refrigeration Energy Efficiency Standards Following through on President Barack Obama's Climate Action Plan, the Department of Energy (DOE) on Feb. 28 issued new energy efficiency standards for commercial refrigeration equipment. Over the ensuing 30 years, it's projected that the new standards will reduce carbon pollution by 142 million tons – the equivalent of that produced by generating electricity for 14.3 million U.S. homes – while also saving businesses as much as $11.7 billion on energy bills.
Crop Pests "Vastly Underestmated' Warns Study The number of different pests plaguing crops in the developing world may be vastly underestimated, contributing to severely reduced harvests in some of the world’s most important food-producing nations, say researchers.
How much water do YOU use each day? Many Americans are confused about the best ways to conserve water and have a slippery grasp on how much water different activities use, according to a national online survey conducted by Indiana University Assistant Professor, Shahzeen Attari.
Experts say the best strategy for conserving water is to focus on efficiency improvements such as replacing toilets and retrofitting washing machines. However, the largest group of the participants, nearly 43 percent, cited taking shorter showers, which does save water but may not be the most effective action. Very few participants cited replacing toilets or flushing less, even though toilets use the most volume of water daily.
2013 Marks Record Year for Solar Power in US A new report shows that 2013 was another banner, record-setting year for solar energy in the U.S., with 4,751 megawatts (MW) of new photovoltaic (PV) capacity installed–a year-over-year increase of 41 percent–with another 410 MW of concentrating solar power (CSP) coming online. A record 2,106 MW of solar power capacity was installed in the fourth quarter alone, amounting to 44 percent of the annual total. That bests the old quarterly record by 60 percent.
New kind of wristband could help monitor environmental health Launched in 2004, the "Livestrong" bracelet started a trend of popular wristbands that have come to represent and popularize different causes. From starting as a token to raise monies and awareness to combat cancer, the wristband has been used to promote hundreds of other avenues. Besides donning these bands for your favorite charity, new research suggests that a version of these bracelets may have some other benefits. By wearing the popular fashion, scientists have come up with an idea that could help us identify potential disease risks of exposure to hazardous substances.
Clean Water Act protects Bristol Bay The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced last week that it is initiating a process under the Clean Water Act (CWA) to identify appropriate options to protect the world's largest sockeye salmon fishery in Bristol Bay, Alaska, from the potentially destructive impacts of the proposed Pebble Mine!